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Holi rush spurs long waiting lists

With Holi round the corner, many Jamshedpureans are busy booking tickets of trains bound for their native places in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Reservation lists of three Bihar-bound trains originating from Tatanagar — Tata-Chhapra Express, Tata-Danapur Express and Tata-Patna South Bihar Express — show zero availability of seats from March 14 to 17.

The rush is expected to make an U-turn after Holi, as people visiting native places will head back to Jamshedpur.

Officials at Tatanagar revealed long-distance trains such as Puri-New Delhi-Purushottam Superfast Express that travel through Bihar are also boasting long waiting lists between March 13 and March 20.

Railway authorities added they had requested South-Eastern Railway (SER) headquarters in Garden Reach, Calcutta, for extra coaches to ease the rush. “We look forward to get extra compartments in some Bihar-bound trains,” said Awtar Singh, station manager at Tatanagar.

A Garden Reach source said a Holi special train was also likely to be launched. “A notification is likely in the next couple of days,” added an official.

Functionaries of Chhotanagpur Passengers’ Association said railways should give extra coaches during festivals.

Advance booking in long-distance buses for Bihar destinations has also gained pace.

Train diversion

Rail traffic will be hit on Howrah-Mumbai main line between Kharagpur and Chakradharpur for three days from March 8 due to work on steel girders on a bridge between Balasore and Haldipada. Tatanagar station manager Awtar Singh said trains in Chakradharpur division would be diverted.